From: Andrew Johnson
Date: 2008-12-19 09:10:52
Perhaps we should collect these bizarre explanations such as “Birds regurgitating frogs ovaries” (see below – honest!) —–Original Message—–From: Dave E. [mailto:dogsydave@googlemail…]Sent: 18 December 2008 23:01To: ad.johnson@ntlworld….Subject: The ‘jelly’ The ‘jelly’ mystery Question: What is this strange jelly people are finding on grassland throughout Scotland? A BBC Radio Scotland Out of Doors listener came across some in the Pentlands and his finding has sparked quite a debate, with several people sending in their own photos of similar findings. Suggestions include that the substance is a type of mould, an animal excretion or even ‘star snot’ from meteorites. What do you think? To try to solve the mystery, Out of Doors has asked some scientists to examine a ‘jelly’ sample. Results so far: Hans Sluiman, an algae expert at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, told Out of Doors listeners he is convinced the gel itself is not a plant or animal. Dr Andy Taylor studies fungi at the Macaulay Institute in Aberdeen. He says there are fungus filaments in the slime but agrees with Hans that they’re growing in the gloop rather than creating it. What now? DNA tests are yet to prove conclusive. Hans’s academic colleagues have unearthed a 1926 reference in the journal Nature to ‘the rot of the stars’. It backs the theory that birds of some species are eating frogs or toads and regurgitating the ovaries, perhaps due to toxins. Listen to Out of Doors on air this weekend and on BBC iPlayer to hear more… We have listed some of your comments below. Let us know what you think by using the comments form or email your photos to the team. Some listeners’ comments: Jean Muir thinks ‘It could be some kind of jelly fungus’. Mike Snook thinks it could be ‘a slime mould, a kind of fungus, I have seen several in woods on the base of tree trunks.’ Steve Chambers believes that ‘the problem is that there are several jelly-like substances that can be found at different times of year. If a predator eats a female frog or toad that is ready to lay, the jelly which would have formed the outside of the spawn is discarded (does it taste nasty?) as not nutritious. This would certainly explain clear jellies found in March or April. Other people are talking about anal glands and secretions, but the substances I have observed are too large to be produced by a small carnivore.’ Ronnie Leask directed us to a geological magazine which suggested this might be ‘Pwdre Ser or Star Jelly’, perhaps remnants from a meteorite shower. Brian Swinbanks says ‘I have seen this substance twice on the Isle of Mull, so you can rule out badgers and foxes, we have none. The first sighting was at the Mishnish Lochs – a single lump of very firm jelly about 150cm in diameter and as we live in Tobermory, I was reminded of a jelly fish – at 500ft in the wrong direction for a wind lift. The mass was very clear with a slight purple hue – colour like a block of acrylic – texture like jelly. No cell structure, almost perfect. The second was at Quinish on a shoot in the autumn and more like your photo – two or three lumps. I talked to a local keeper he had seen this once before on the hill. If this comes from an animal – at Quinish it could be sheep, cattle or deer but at the Mishish Lochs only from a sheep or red deer.’ John Lewis from Peterhead has also found the jelly over the past 8 to 10 years, ‘usually close to, or around the margins of ponds or other bits of wetlands or just damp areas in fields. I have puzzled over what it could be and have asked many of my fishing and shooting friends and other folk with an interest in the countryside. The most popular theory is that it has something to do with Herons – that would certainly fit in with the locations where I have found it’. Have your say below and help us solve the mystery! Page first published on Friday 17th October 2008Page last updated on Friday 5th December 2008 Your Views MarianneI live in australia and I have also found this jelly like substance in my garden on a couple of occasions, both times there was only one “blob” about the size of a golf ball. Weird. Ronan McKeownHi I live in County Sligo in west of Ireland and this substance is in several areas on our golf course and has been for years,new pieces appear almost everyday, I cannot believe nobody knows what it is Silence Dogoodit appears similar to some petrol based substance. it also seems to be found near bodies of water or in cool places where water condenses. it could be an indicator of a petrol rich area, and the resident moisture is carrying a small amount of it to the surface. if it appears in the same locations more than once, that would solve this one. has anyone tried to light it on fire? Phil PageWe have also found it on Dartmoor growing on grass and on granite boulders……….. Duncan MuirI too have seen this in a remote part of Oxfordshire, I had assumed it was a side effect of climate change, or an unusual animal secretion from a mutated animal (I live near a power station, and there are a lot of overhead power lines). I feel much better now I know it’s just Herons sherlock holmesit is alien droppings that becomes frogs that produce more droppings after being eaten by birds.then the droppings themselves excrete algea that attract lightning. ShereeMaybe it’s more than one thing? Maybe one person has haggis pupa, one has soil crystals, one has deer ‘spit’? Maybe pranksters have gotten bored with crop circles, and are throwing silicone on people’s fences? =p bahe mitchellaccording to “zetatalk” this goo is simply—petrochemcial derivitatives from the “tail” of a celestial body that is passing between the sun and our earth–it is referred to as “planet X” Edgar BlazierIn 1957-58 whilst mapping on Schiehallion during late summer I noticed the same phenomenon especially in the worn muddy area around boulders. For this reason I associated it with sheep. It looked exactly as jelly ‘mystery’ photo. I invited to write a piece that was published in the Nature column of the Dundee Courier. No scientific explanation was forthcoming at that time. It is now 50 years later. I’d be very interested to hear of the authoritive explanation. Vikkuanyone seen invasion of the body snatchers……!!! just dont sleep by it anb youll be fine :> Anita NagyFound this in a thriving vegetable garden in sleepy rural Oxfordshire. She likes herons too. Rishi RamlaganSome kinda alien stuff i guess…lol…who knows. But seriously I hope an explanation is found. This has me very curious GenI think it’s UFO droppings of alien poo. David TullochI live in a densely populated area of Swindon in Wiltshire and have found this goo on my front lawn in July. We cleared it up only for it to reappear the next day in roughly the same place – there is a lake about a quarter of a mile away and have in the past seen badgers, foxes, squirrels, toads, jackdaws and loads of snails within the area but have never seen cattle, sheep or stags. I assume that herons do frequent the lake but we have never seen any. So any ideas why it is this far south and in July? Mike VaughnIf anyone can collect a relatively uncontaminated sample (from inside the gel) and can store it in a small sterile (or at least clean) container then it should be pretty simple to determine if it is organic (alive) and what the species / genus is. Look up the (molecular) biology department at a local university (Dundee is very good for this) and contact some people there explaining what you have and that you are not a nutter. Ask if they will run a 18S / 16S ribosomal DNA-based PCR identification on the sample. When I worked in a uni lab, it only cost about £20 to do this and many researchers will have the ‘primers’ already in-house. Be nice about it and point to the news sites as universities love to be covered in the press and a couple of column inches about solving this puzzle is worth something to them and is also the kind of thing likely to be covered in in New Scientist. It may even get published and you will get mentioned in the paper! MaxEels, lots of them, overland migration they leave trails of slime which covers them. Ever hear the expresstion slippery as an eel? Its the slime organs. Deborah AndersonNo idea what it is but ound it about two weeks ago in the fields behind my house in County Antrim. There have been no farm animals in the fields for months and only ever cattle. There are no rivers or streams nearby either.There were several pools of it in the three fields I was walking in at the time Lucy HansonI have been finding this jelly-like substance for a few years. I live in an urban town just north of Glasgow and I first noticed the strange substance when I was walking to work. The jelly was on the road just beside the verges, underneath the blossom trees and I assumed, after seeing it every few hundred yards, that it was some kind of sap coming out of the trees. ClemI saw a seagull puke up a jellyfish before it died that looked alot like that. Mike Vaughn”quantum+I use to have Top Secret clearance with USAF. Ask NASA about this jelly and “dead satellites” that fall from space. They’ll probably deny any knowledge of it’s existance.”Sorry Q; Top Secret isn’t a clearance classification for personnel in the USAF. max dohleOvary’s from frogs. The froghunting birds cannot digest it and spit it out. DaveAIs it so difficult to get a chemical test on this stuff? My first thought was that it’s pollution fallout of some sort. Francis TruthHow has a Organism, Fungus, Mould, Living natural phenomina started showing up around the world recently in such large quantities, but never been observed, classified or named before?Answer= Because it is new, not natural and unknown. Think and research. Kene GellyI’m not letting on … TysonI live in Cottage Grove Oregon, and I have a great big clump of it surrounding the base of a plum tree in my yard(Dec 6th, 08′), it is mostly clear and has no odor. It doesn’t look like a place that a heron could have thrown up unless they wrapped their neck around the trunk. Dr. RichardsIt is reidue left from Government aerial chem-trail spraying operations. Converted commercial air liners are stripped out and re-furbished with aerial chemical spraying equipment. You can spot the difference as these are not normal contrails, but rather are sprayed in grin-patterns often by two planes flying in tandem. Instead of dissapating the chemical trails persist and spread out to form milky clouds obscuring the sky. This is currently occuring all around the world, and why the worlds Governments are doing this at this time we can only guess.. Dr FealgoodSUTTON PARK, BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS. I have found 3 separate lots of this jelly in Sutton Park near La Reserve lake. It does look like starting to melt snow, simlar to that of the last remains off a snowman when the rest of the snow has long gone. To the touch (although not recomended) it is like jelly. I have seen it within bushes and in the open. My personal assumptions are that this is animal vomit. Max DohleWith al little help: ovary’s from frogs, spitten out by birds. TONY BURNSWhile working for the Forestry Commission in Wales over forty years ago, I came upon some clear jelly on a foot path. It hadn’t been there the day before. I asked an old forestry worker if he knew what it was. He gave me a look that workers reserve for bosses who are as thick as two planks and said “It’s where the lightning has struck”. I knew that we’d had no lightning but the statement was made with such utter conviction that it would have been rude to argue otherwise. Instead, I sent a sample of the jelly to the Forestry Commission’s research institute. Back came the reply that it was a blue green algae which appeared to suddenly go into reproduction mode. If humans reproduced at the same rate, there would be a pile of bodies higher than Mount Everest overnight. Please don’t tell me I’m wrong as I’ve trotted this out as confidently as did Black Ned all those years ago. Anna M.Nano Technological Bio-Silicone Artificial IntelligencePossibility of it being wired to transmit a pulls (frequency, vibration…) therefore making it “functional” into a bio-chemical motor. Ahahah Bonnie Martin”quantum+I use to have Top Secret clearance with USAF. Ask NASA about this jelly and “dead satellites” that fall from space. They’ll probably deny any knowledge of it’s existance.”Interesting Max DohleTo my surprise I found this article. I saw this kind of jelly in the dunes of Holland too. I was wandering what is was. JoshI have seen it for the past few weeks in a park/woodland in *southern england* areteHello,We live in Oregon (USA). Twice in the last four years we have found the same substance on our land. We have been unable to find anyone who considers this anything other than an ‘anomaly’. Guess we ought to have contacted you!!! carlmakes me wonder about those ‘rods’ that guy captured on video. they are supposedly gossamer like. maybe this is what they turn into when they die Phil SykesI used to see this stuff 10 years ago whilst on exercise with the army around Ullapool. It was everywhere and reminded me of jellyfish. Heather MarkhamThe jelly looks exactly like saturated silica gel beads. Could it be that some birds are eating used nappies. The silica part of the nappy is going through the birds digestive system and is being excreted along with other matter. Some of the photos look that way. Silica gel beads are also used to mix in with soil to hold moisture. It really does look to me as if birds are gaining access to this stuff. PaulI think it’s some kind of alien snack. Tasty, huh? PhilI live on the pennine moors overlooking manchester. This stuff is in a couple of places on the moor. I was wondering what it was and where it had come from. Even the scientists are puzzled.They only know it is 99% water. Nick DonnellyI too have found this in Scotland, and after a bit of research found a plausable explanation – Female frogs lay frogspawn which contains this jelly material, it is stored in their bodies in a reduced form that expands when in waiter. The birds that feed on these frogs have learned to squeeze the concentrated jelly out of the frogs before they eat them, otherwise it would expand in their stomachs – this explains why the jelly is often found near water. ChailreThis is not only found in Scotland, I was on a Duke of Edinburgh training exercise and we saw it all over the place, this was in Dartmoor we asked our Biology teacher and took a sample to him, but he had no idea what it was. people should look in other places that just Scotland. It was always in wet locations and not always in the most populated areas, some places people had not walked for a long time because of the flooding and overgrown bushes. Fergus KiddThis stuff isn’t just in Scotland, I’ve seen it all over Dartmoor too when on an expedition there. Had no idea what it was, but it was in weird places like walkways rather than in the middle of nowhere. JonYou guys are nutters. I once found some in the toilet after a heavy night out. It may have come from me. Jacob DyerA bit of an icky suggestion, but it looks to me like something an animal with some illness would regurgitate (something it’s not supposed to when not ill, such as stomach lining or something). Any new foodstuffs that wouldn’t agree with native species, new species that wouldn’t agree with native foodstuffs, or maybe a virus/bacterial infection? BirdmantheferretWhile reading through a mountaineers blog/ photo’s there was a pic’ of “the jelly” and he proscribed it as an otters spraint, not so sure myself but could be worth while looking into, maybe more of a possibility as otter vomit, only a suggestion. old bobLooks like a slug that has been exposed to salt. Liz MI’ve seen this several times in the remoter parts of Dartmoor this (2008) autumn and early winter and have wondered what it is. MartinaI’ve seen lots of it at the side of a forrestry path on the Black Isel (on the way down to Eathy) and it was accompanied by bits of toad or frog (not sure wich). About 20-25 snotty slime & amphibian “piles” along a 1 km path. The path goes down to the sea – the “stuff” was lying under very dense spruce cover. I have photos Adam CoplandI have been involved as a patient with movement disorders. The “Snot” is like a substance made up of single-cell amoeba-like organisms, as described above by Helen Taylor, Mary Clarkson and Trish MacDonnell, which exists in and feeds on leaf mould and other rotting wood or celullose forms. When the food runs out, they gather together as the slimey mass we see and roll off to new pastures. I know of this as it is/was being investigated for experiments in Movement Disorders as a stabler reactor to stimulii where the muscle in humans have too many cross factors to be 100per cent reliable for some tests where some of these tests, as we have seen, can result in detremental side effects in humans. That’s how I know about it. Single celled ‘amoebae’ on the move en mass. Malcolm ThomsonFound some near the summit of Scaraben, Caithness on 15 November 2008. Sue JonesMy daughter and I found some of the mystery jelly on Saturday at the side of a pond near to Drymen. Mixed in with three of the 7 or so blobs were caviar like patches(maybe a desert spoon size). In one we could see that a couple of the black eggs were surrounded in the jelly, just like frog or toad spawn. One of the other people to have seen these the day before said that there was a pile of guts by the side of it so the Heron theory seems quite plausible. Soozie THas anyone ever heard of aerogel, could it maybe be that? We find the jelly in the fields around Innellan. It does have a bit of a fishy smell to it. Its a mystery. Paul SouthwellI came across some of this jelly whist walking in the Black Mountains in Wales on 8th November. We were waking on a grass ridge about 20feet above a fast flowing stream. The specimen we saw was about twice the size of the sample in the picture and had a wall paper paste appearance. I was with my brother who is a Botanist and he had never seen anything like it and assumed it as being some sort of alagae but was only a guess. GordonWe’re very familiar (at our rural, S/SW-facing home some 750 feet up, near Strathaven – last year was a bumper season) with this “stuff” – in silver-white foam and more creamy (colour and texture) forms (the latter perhaps having lain longer on the grass). The white material sometimes has small black dots in it which hint at frog spawn (but of course the incidence is not confined to the spawning period), but without the “sago pudding” globules. Source(s) as yet unknown. We have a substantial river and smaller burns; barn owls (which share the steading with us), tawny owls, buzzards, sparrowhawks, hen harriers, kestrel, heron, frogs, toads, otters, badgers, foxes, deer (various), lots more fauna – and overflying aircraft en route to Glasgow and Prestwick, so that seems to cover all the bases for the evolution of a theory! Over to the experts ….. emmaghilwe found some on our farm last wekend, we have sheep on that par of the land…so maybe something to do wit them? Early miscarried placenta? Margaret PollockMy guess is that it is a kind of algae from the Nostocaceae family. It can survive long periods of dehydration, before re-appearing in its jelly-like form. I was discussing it with a perthsire farmer two weeks ago as he has loads in his garden and on his paths and I have it on my allotment in Bucks, and neither of us can get rid of it!! Failing that – is it anything to do with the ‘mucus’ that slugs produce when mating? They create an amazing amount of ‘goo’. Tina RichesCome to the Fens – we’ve had this fungus here for years! Pauline WhyteBecause it’s seen mostly in woodland, my first thought was that it might be the minerals/salts that trees normally absorb. It does look quite saline in nature. It would be interesting to know if it happens more after a wet summer and the trees can’t absorb all of the minerals that leech into the water table. jane wilsonI used to live in oregon usa, and noticed this substance on a quiet coastal road at about this time of the year. Derek MayesSuspect Heron regurgitation of dissolved frog/toad Alison ShawI had a similar jelly grow out of the compost of a recently purchased potted outdoor plant. It developed as a rounded tube which flopped over the edge of the pot and eventually dripped onto the floor. I assumed it was a jelly fungus but could not find match on any web site. Gene StoermerProbably not “rock snot”. Didymosphenia spp. grow on branching stalks, which would be quite visible in microscopic examination. Also the wrong habitat. Michael RobertsI’m a zoologist and with a friend who is a senior vet from Sweden – we found jelly underneath a fence post a couple of years ago. After searching through the grass nearby we found pieces of toad skin and that was the clue. The area is frequented by marsh harriers. This was during November. The post was being used by the bird as a ‘plucking post’ and the toads were being stripped of their skin (the skin is distaseful to many predators)before being eaten by the birds. I think there are different possibilities depending where the stuff is found. If it’s near tree stumps or posts, look for frog or toad skin. If it’s other places, then some of the other suggestions are quite valid!! Tom SmithI believe it to be a very toxic substance , And the source of the toxic is none other than the unmarked planes that are spraying toxic material all over the world..People need to wake up before it’s too late . This is not conspiracy this is real .All I ask is you to research it for yourself. Type in ‘chemtrails’ into you tube or google and you will find some more information . You also just need to look up to the skies and you will see those planes spewing out a white powdery substance that covers the whole sky then starts to fall to earth.. Dr Phil Smith, Biologist, Aquatonics LtdFrom the various descriptions and locations I guess we have a range of things that look similar but are different. It may be that most of the sightings are some form of mucopolysaccharide, but with differnt sources of the mucopolysaccharide. I would be happy to microscopically examine any material and post photos of the results. STUART GRAFTONSEE IT REGULARLY AT KILMARNOCK[ BARASSIE ] GOLF CLUB. FOUND SOME LAST WEEK, THERE ARE CERTAINLY RED DEER AND HERONS ABOUT THE AREA. Judy StewartI found two large cow pat sized blobs in our (non working) farmyard around September’08 near Doune. It was quite clear, not very cloudy, but definitely not frog spawn. It resembled jelly fish without a core. We aren’t near water and deer have never before ventured so close to the house. I wish I’d taken a photo. I’m a bit squeamish so it was scooped up and thrown in the hedge……the plot thickens! Taylor WattersCould it be lung butter? Betty CookLooks like it has been snowing a bit, and now starting to melt away. WeedI agree with Bill and Ben. I found some at the bottom of my fridge. It’s lovely with ice cream. Andy JacksonLooks like Fuligo septica, commonly known as ‘dog’s vomit slime-mould’. rabcFound some of this jelly half way up Tinto on the Thankerton side.Man!!! this is best magic mushy ever Agnes KyleSaw two seperate lots of jelly about a 100 yards apart on the top of a hill above Straiton, Ayrshire. Although the ground is damp, any burns/lochans are a bit away. It was at the side of the path in an area of newly planted forestry. Have seen this before on other walks just thought it was some chemical that had fallen off a farm vehical. Great programme. Derek RobertsonFrog/toad spawn seems a very likely candidate, especially in spring. Depending on the stage of development, this can contain eggs, or not . In summer/autumn the regurgutated ovaries of amphibians coughed up by predators, especially herons and buzzards is likely, as other contributors have described. Usually found at locations near water . I have seen both these, but I have to tell you there is proabably something else out there. I have seen examples of it in open grassland, apparently growing on/amongst grass at the very end of the growing season in October/early November and very far from water or likely spots for predators. We regularly had it in our garden in SW Fife every year. The jelly grew quickly over 2-3 days and then rotted. Always the same time of year in damp weather. It didn’t form “lumps” like the spawn/ovaries I have seen in the past. I had previously assumed it was some sort of algae/fungus. Really enjoying the programme. Sherlok Sperm ? Trevor OuellettePwdre Ser (a. k. a. Rot of the Stars). Joey OBrien from the USAI think it’s the Quatermass Experiment!! Tom GreenwellWell, the jelly is very familiar to me. It resembles the “goo” in diapers, but it is also used to contain and clean up chemical spills. Anyone ever thought that an aircraft could be dumping this stuff to avoid questions or fines? At a high altitude the stuff would freeze up shortly after dumping, golf ball size droplets, more or less. Being frozen, they would survive an impact without “splattering”. As they warm, they return to a gooey state. I once found this material inside of a coin operated vacuum cleaner in a car wash. This allows us to rule out deer semen (unless they are really kinky deer) 🙂 It turned out that an exterminator had spilled some insecticide and had used the silacious gel from his spill kit to contain it. Rather than report the spill and face a fine, he vacuumed it up in the machine. Too bad though, he lost his license because there were video cameras on the property. Its really an amazing substance. A quart size jar can absorb a huge amount of liquid depending on its density. By itself its non-toxic…but, if you get it wet and there are nutrients in the liquid, it gets moldy and you gotta pitch it. jimit is the larval form of wire coat hangers. Check your wardrobe. Scott ShanksFrog or Toad ovaries coughed up by a heron. Called Stardrops in some places. They herons need to regurgitate them before they swell up like the eggs do after they’ve been laid. Ken ParnhamPlease see the attached photos taken on 24 Feb 2007 on Hill of Alyth,Perthshire (grid ref NO 238 502).The pond, at around 280m elevation, has a man-made drainage channel onthe south side up which frogs migrate in the spring to spawn, typicallylate Feb and through Mar. Coincident with the frogs and the associatedfrog spawn, Herons appear around the edge of the pond – though as I’musually walking a dog the Herons tend to disperse as we approach – up tofour seen at any one time.The photos show the most concentrated jellied spot – a small hummockbeside the pond. You will notice that amongst the jelly is frog-spawn.When only mildly disturbed, the Herons retreat away from the pondwithout taking serious flight. I have observed small clumps of jelly inthe surrounding area.Hypothesis: The Herons eat frog-spawn, gastric juices (acid?) extractthe premature tadpole (as protein?) and the indigestible part isregurgitated as opaque jelly (Gastric juices turning the clear ‘spawn’to opaque?).Perhaps Herons in flight can regurgitate jelly which would explain awider distribution.Whilst mammals may eat frog-spawn, there would need to be plenty offoxes, deer etc to deposit so much jelly over the area. Odd foxes anddeer are seen occasionally in transit over the hill from farm-land tofarm-land.Up to four Herons 24/7 for six weeks or so seems more likely, especiallywith wading legs!I will have to pay more attention next spring! Helen TaylorNostoc commune Hope this is useful in your search for the answer.The genus Nostoc contains Blue-green algae which are composed of colonies of Cyanobacteria arranged in strings or filaments called trichomes which are surrounded by a thin sheath. They can be found in water and on land and are able to withstand extreme environments such as the freezing Arctic or the hot pools near an active volcano. They also have the ability to lie dormant for long periods when conditions are unfavourable and come back to life when rehydrated.The Cyanobacteria can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and are able to use energy from the sun, but not using the same pigments as the photosynthesis carried out by the chloroplasts in plant cells. Their photosynthesizing pigments are free in the cytoplasm and not contained within an organelle such as a chloroplast. Geologocal studies have found that oxygen-producing cyanobacteria were present about 2.8 billion years ago and are probably responsible for the creation of the life-supporting atmosphere of the Earth. The chloroplasts in plants and similar organelles in algae, have evolved from Cyanobacteria and became enveloped in the cells at some point in their evolutionary history. Some of the pigments they contain can absorb UV-A/B which help them to survive in exposed locations. Submitted by Helen Taylor. Identified by Rosemary Smith. Jay HurstI observed precisely the same stuff in 1984. Early summer, about twenty five to thirty feet from a local pond, one large blob a foot and a half across lying atop of undisturbed grass. I remember my fascination, and looked for a trail leading to it but without success. An aerial origin seemed likely but it had a slightly broken texture as in the photo, if it had fallen from anything more than a few feet it would have been splattered all over.The pond was a small patch of mossy woodland between new housing estates and a wartime munitions dump. Later that summer I found a decomposing fox nearby, but the jelly looked too large to have been passed by anything smaller than a cow and you can rule them out, the nearest farms were a good few miles away through housing estates, industrial facilities and the UKAEA in Risley. Mr MacDonaldIt comes from slugs… Gina GrunskisThis jelly has been seen, in the past, at a redundant slate quarry, now overgrown, in Spittal,Caithness.There are ponds where frogs/toads breed and the area is rich in wildlife, but especially rabbits. SylviaHow can stags get their semen on top of a pole?!?! The most common thing I find in a lot of posts is that it has to do with Heron being in the area so it leads me to conclude that it must be some sort of excretion from a heron….as to what it is I am unsure of… hankomatic Cloud Seeding to Extract Moisture.. Wandering HughIt’s manna from heaven? Ian RussellI found some below the gable end of our farm near Eaglesham. Owls sometimes perch there so the jelly may have been regurgitated by them. Dave StevensWe found some of this space snot in the middle our 10th fairway on Pitlochry Golf Course. The only difference from your photo is that there are clumps of small black spheres looking like caviar dotted around amongst it. Henry BNostoc pruniforme UniIve seen it, I thought a seagull threw a jellyfish into my backyard! Bob JoeRemember that old movie “The Blob” Be carefull out there! John in Victoria BC CanadaLooks like 555 drill polymer used in diamond drilling. Goes from crystalline form to gelatinous mass to slime dependent on addition of water. Rendered from seaweed, nontoxic and used as thickening agent for drilling fluids when drilling through fractured rock. Also used as a thickening agent for foods. Dotty HearnIn August 1994 a gelatinous rainfall ocurred in Oakville Washington (USA) The fallout of this material took place over a three week period of time. Google it. sparkeyheron is plausible could be remnants of eels denfence mechanism nappy stuff looks exactly like it too Keith Jordan of Indiana U.S.A.This substance looks like the mositure asorbing stuff that airlines use (silaca) when saturatedlooks like simi transparent goo. also used in motor homes under the lavitori basin to absorb humidity. sheepshearer48I saw something like this years ago in a woods in South Carolina. It was clinging to tree branches and there was a big pile on the ground. It looked like it fell from above the ground. I didnt go too close, but saw it from a jogging path that I used. It dryed up and disappeared over a few weeks. cheryl rogersthe stuff on snails.its really slimey you have to scrape it off it could be alot of snail slime. the lazWill you please send me a bucket of the stuff as I have run out of wallpaper paste. Fresno BobI think the pictures attached to this article are showing two different things. I have no idea what the very liquidy (is that a word?) stuff is but it seems right that it has to do with frogs as that stuff is in or near water in the photos. The other stuff that is almost dry and kinda granulated is more like the stuff 2 other posters spoke about in the diapers (nappies to y’all). They sell it for agricultural uses to retain water in dry areas and as a coagulant of water in areas that have high mosquito populations or mold problems. Often, dry insecticide is mixed with the powder before it contacts the water and becomes the ooze. For some good images of this, Google “water absorbing polymer crystals” and see if this isn’t what this substance is. We use it a lot here in California as the soil is sandy in the valley and into Southern California. Also, what kinda dear do you have over there? They must be giants if you think that is semen! melissa mardella friend and i found this on exemoor too the other day and we thought it was alien slime 🙂 it had white veins which would suggest its living?? yes/no?? willg et her upload pics. bert simmsIt was probably dropped from a UFO to breed with local pond denizens. Thomas CovenantIt looks remarkably like the alien “seeds” in”Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.(1978 version)Remember the character played by Leonard Nimoy-who was so devoid of emotion that no one noticed when he was changed? Anyone around you been acting a little strange, lately? 🙂 MARIA – NYI vote for outter space. No way these are local…..lololol J PurdyIt’s gel from a diaper (that’s what we call nappies in the States). Either that or it’s the same material. Is this area in a flight path? It’s not that I’m necessarily suggesting airliner are flushing diapers out onto the country-side, but the toilets may contain this material. My employer has insatlled “green” dry urinals in the men’s room that have a reservoir (for the you know) which contains a nappy gel/disinfectant slurry in lieu of flushing the urinal. In the evening the poor housekeeping staff have to empty the container. Oh joy! Perhaps the airlines have a similar setup for their bathrooms and have a procedure that calls for dumping the material over lesser populated areas. Ted FlemingI ran across a gob of this stuff some years ago, in Kansas (very central USA). Right in the middle of town, at the bottom of a telephone pole on a street corner, right after a big storm. The ‘piece’ I found was about the size of a canteloupe or a rugby ball, so if it was heron vomit, that was a BIG heron- an anomaly worth investigating in and of itself! Also, because of where I found it, it’s not at all likely that it was deer vomit/spooge/whatever, and almost equally unlikely to have been the product of an amphibian. Very strange! Brant GrembnerIt might be snot from an animal with a cold. Perhaps it’s what you get when a dear blows its nose. quantum+I use to have Top Secret clearance with USAF. Ask NASA about this jelly and “dead satellites” that fall from space. They’ll probably deny any knowledge of it’s existance. The CuspWHatever that stuff is, it tastes really good on toast! Sandy EdwardsIt was known to me when I lived in Devon as “Heron Sick”. It is the regurgitated oviduct contents from frogs which have been eaten by birds. This swells up in the gut of the bird and makes it throw up! PaulBryozoans RussI found the same substance in the fields ast the side of the A80 in Cumbernauld, on top of fence posts which a Buzzard was using as a perch. So definatly a bird of prey connection Trish MacDonnellI live on one of the Orkney Isles and found this gel on my woodpile which has been undisturbed for the past year. We also have no foxes or deer here so can discount those. It`s cold and slimy to touch. And burns with a hissing, popping sound (yes, I burned the wood….) Craig DalrympleI found this stuff on the bonnet of my 4×4 in early Summer. The car sits under a tree. I’ve also seen the stuff underneath the tree. I’ve also seen it in my back garden which is not accessible for anything lick a cat or a dog. It just seems to appear overnight. I live right beside the Clyde so I’d guess it came from a bird/seagull. peter rabbitlatex condoms degrading? AlIt’s part of the plot for a new series of Dr. Who to be shown next year. Gill AvilaIt’s obviously the “Primal Jelly” so often referenced by Arthur Machen and H.P. Lovecraft in their tales. Steve Dickson It’s not just Scotland. I often see huge clumps of this around the ponds of North Vancouver, BC, Canada. I always thought it was “Salamander Spawn”. Obviously not. ChristelHonestly! Fairies with the flu, obviously. Neil MahlerI think the young lady who went to all the trouble of learning about slime mould from the internet has got it wrong, and I’m not at all convinced with the ‘rock snot’ theory either as no site I clicked on has photos resembling the photos shown here.The most sensible theory seems to be Stag semen, but we have already read previously that this ‘gunge’ has been found in gardens where deer would not be present, also in my county in the East, we have large populations of red deer, but no reports of this substance being found at all.Another point, if stag semen is anything like human semen, it will just turn watery after a few minutes of exposure, what we have here is coagulated/ jelly like.So keep the suggestions coming in people !!. Janet ReidIt looks similar to the jelly used in disposable nappies, which I presume is a form of silicon Barry IngramI think it comes from lack of underwear when wearing kilts! SuzanneAlien invasion! bill and benis this jelly strawberry flavour? Martin AlexanderAnyone who has seen the “Alien” movies would be forgiven for drawing a comparison with the goo emanating from the creature. Could this slime be coming from something we are not familar with? Andy BatemanTry some time lapse photography on these lumps of slime. You may be in for a surprise! If my memory serves me right they are called slime moulds but have nothing to do with fungi other than they seem only to be studied by mycologists. They are in fact macro ameoba and they move! Or has my mind completely failed me? yankeeI heard about something similar to this being found here stateside years ago. It was attributed to aircraft deliberately spraying chemicals and infection agents on population centers, the “slime” is the result of non-optimal spraying, it clumps up rather than atomises as the sprayers would like it to.Supposedly, testing found all sorts of biological agents in it, to include human blood cells. Then again, it was also said to be able to etch glass. Just some stuff I heard. Ben RIndeed this mystery jelly is nothing more exciting than the remnants of stags and various other mammals doing what they have done for millennium in Autumn – mating and producing large amounts of semen. Gordon RobertsonI have seen this jelly on the hills for many years and I was told as Andy Malcolm said it had something to do with the stags. Penny JacksonI’ve seen it in my back garden in Derby. We have a pond and I always assumed it was where a cat had eaten a pregnant frog and discarded the undeveloped spawn, like what Steve Chambers said. Tanya StarkeyI have found the same jelly substance in my drive way. I live near the Ochils but my house is in the middle of a housing estate. Charlie LeppardDeer phlegm LeslieUFO material! Maybe it breaks-down in cold weather? Dougie GoldIt looks like the gell from inside a nappy. Our dog stole a full nappy shredded it in the garden and eat the contents. Next day all that was left was the gell from inside that had absorbed the overnight rain, it looked exactly like the gell in the pictures. Judie HollidayHow interesting. We just had this conversation with our daughters after finding multiple patches of this jelly on the side of Saddle Hill near Culloden in the Highlands. I’d love to know what it is. Gareth JonesI think it’s the start of the entire world turning into ‘grey goo’ because of nanotechnology! C RObbI think its the gel crytals used in gardening , somehow ending up in guts of various animals.There is evidence here alone that birds eating it are the likely culprit , which they then excrete.This might not be the case in all the pics , but only in some. Bill BaxterThis substance has been appearing regularly in the far North (Caithness and Sutherland) for many years. Mainly noticed in the summer by my friends and myself when fishing or walking, it has always baffled us. We are all the outdoor type and familiar with almost anything connected with natural occurences. We would love to have an answer to the mystery. Karl TeviotdaleI have found this substance before myself. Often close to ice cream….I believe it to be ectoplasmic slime which is the residue left by ghosts. Christine ForsythI think the haggis theory is the best that I have come across – it has certainly cheered me up after being ill all week! Brian ClarkI found a whole load of this slime on grass near my home in Erskine Renfrewshire. I thought someone had emptied a bucket of wallpaper paste. Strange! Mary ClarksonThis jelly looks like slime mold. see wikipedia: Most slime mold are smaller than a few centimetres, but the very largest reach areas of up to thirty square metres, making them the largest undivided cells known. Many have striking colours such as yellow, brown and white. Slime Mold is a broad term that refers to fungi-like amoeboid (i.e. like an amoeba) organisms. Their common name refers to part of their life cycle in which their appearance can be gelatinous (hence the name slime). However, this fact mostly refers to the myxomycetes, which are the only macroscopic slime molds. They have been found all over the world feeding on microorganisms that live in any type of dead plant material. For this reason, it is very common to find these organisms growing in the soil, on lawns, and in the forest commonly on deciduous logs (hence the name molds). However, in tropical areas of the world, they also seem to be very common on inflorescences, fruits and in aerial situations (i.e. in the canopy of trees). They are also common on mulch or even in the leaf mold in gutters. Roddy and Sheila I was intrigued to catch the tail end of Sat. mornings programme , and that your quest to identify the ‘ slime’ goes on !Many years ago I found a similar substance and was initially stumped as to what it might be . Our property backs onto a hillside with mixed moorland and forestry . We have resident buzzards , hawks , crows etc. We found this frogspawn like material , but usually on top of fence posts ? I know about Slime Fungi and discounted that .None of our natural history friends could explain it.Much later , and I cant remember where we read or heard about it , we found that it ‘might be’ that birds eating frogs or toads , regurgitate the lining of the stomach of these creatures , as it is toxic to them . This seemed a possibility as it is so ‘frog like’ !!It appears to be an Autumn phenomina , and coincidently , have heard two local friends describing this recently .The fact that we find it on top of posts or rocky outcrops confirms the possibility of birds taking it to an eating place .We have accepted this explanation since ! We certainly have lots of frogs/toads nearby , and an early spring sight is Herons flying in to feast on these. Will listen in with interest. Elizabeth HallSorry to jump in and ruin your moment of imaginative discussions but this jelly substance has appeared in our back garden. We live in the West midlands, on a housing estate our Garden is fenced off, so no Stags or Lynx good get in! and we don’t have a pond, I have seen no herons. Could anyone explain what this is? Susanna RobsonThere has been quite a lot of the jelly on our croft in the north west of Skye, including on top of a fence post, so that would be some stag! I had assumed it was something the crows or other birds were spewing out. Diana CarmodyI too saw these in Aberfoyle just last week. Curious I followed this article and searched the web for others, there were many. The best explanation I came across was this from October 2007 and surely posted by a very knowledgeable Scots person: “The organism is the pupa of a haggis. Your correspondent is very fortunate: haggis normally pupate only under cover of dense heather or bracken, and pupation usually happens at the onset of the Scottish winter in early September. In due course the outer skin becomes opaque, and the inner tissues become firm and granular as water is lost. It is at this point that pupating haggis are collected for human consumption. Those that elude would-be gourmets remain in a dormant state until spring, emerging as fully developed adults or “imagos”, ready to seek a mate and ensure the continued supply of this delicacy”. Good one. Garry FindlayI have also found this cloudy jelly material in a newly cut silage field and on a fire road near Strathaven. Some of it had small black looking ‘eggs’ on the ground in amongst it. This was about 6 weeks ago. It wouldn’t be frog or toad spawn at this time of year? I have seen Heron and Deer at both these spots recently. Elizabeth RobertsThe surest way to test these various theories is to analyse a specimen – is that what has been done in deciding that these jelly masses are made up of ‘single celled organisms’? judy broderickFound this in Glen Tilt two weeks ago; certainly there were hinds around. Can you repeat the info. about it travelling and climbing trees please! judy broderickFound several balls of this two weeks ago in Glen Tilt ; there certainly were hinds and their calves around. Where can I find the remarks about it travelling distances a Elizabeth RobertsI found a mass of the white jelly (it looked exactly like the photograph featured on this page) the day before yesterday. It was mainly on the wooden decking, but part was on/dripping off the top of the big black plastic pot standing in the corner of the deck. the deck is a good 3 metres above ground, reached by steps but at the time it must have been deposited the step access to the deck was barred by a wooden gate designed to confine my daughter’s pet Cairn dog or my grandchildren to the deck area directly outside the living room. From the placing of this white jelly I think it is highly unlikely to be stag sperm or otter anus blocker (Tom’s suggestion)- it seemed to me only possible to have been dropped from the air. My property is a commercial forestry plantation aret 300m in the southern uplands near the Daer Reservoir, and there are drains (water channels) and burns but not all that near to the house. We do have otters, badgers and deer but the gamekeeper who called yesterday and saw the jelly (and recognised it as something he has seen frequently in his territory at this time of year) thought it was ‘fox vomit’ – again highly unlikely given the position of the jelly so near the house and right behind a flower pot in the corner of a deck constricted by the railing. Paukine Gibbi believe its the misterons Drew DougansDuring autumn, I have occasionally seen tennis ball sized lumps of this jelly beneath trees on damp grass along quiet single track roads near Strathaven. The most recent lump I noticed was about two weeks ago and it lay on the same spot, undisturbed, for several days. There are certainly badgers, foxes and deer in the area and, indeed, I have heard it referred to as “Deer Spit” Morna OrmistonI saw the same jelly the other day near a pond on the Braid Hills. I have seen it there in previous years and assumed it was something to do with frog or newt spawn although this seems a strange time of year for spawning?? Surely some nature loving dude out there can give us the definitive answer. Lewis Napier from HamiltonI fund this stuff twice last week on 2 seperate golf courses in lanarkshire, and south lanarkshire. Idid ask if anyone new what it was but they had no idea. Bill ScottThis substance has been the the subject of discussion between my Sunday morning fourball at Ranfurly castle Golf Club for the past year or two as we have come across it in varying quantities all over the course. Most recently we came across some last week. We do not recall seeing any frogs or toads in the area but do have some deer and there is a Heron which is seen infrequently.There have also been sightings of a large black Lynx like cat in the area in recent years. Douglas RobertsonI found some ‘jelly-like’ substance on the hillside in Glenshee today(25.10.06.)I took some home and if you know anyone who may want to analyse this substance andy malcolmI dont want to upset all these people who have been poking around with your “mystery jelly”, but it’s stags semen! As a professional stalker (I was on your programme a week ago) I come across it all over the place at this time of year. Andy WilsonIt could be vital to check if this jelly is the same as “Didymosphenia geminata, commonly known as didymo or rock snot” – see Google. Rock snot is a huge problem in New Zealand where it has got on riverbeds and devours all food. We visited South Island in 2007 and there was great concern – they believed it was spread on canoes, fishing equipment, etc. At that time, there was no known treatment to kill it. Imagine if it got into Scottish streams – although it may well be in already?Your programme could push for a proper investigation and follow-up eradication. Rock snot is not just a quirky phenomenom with a crude name – it is a disaster.I saw a golfball-size white specimen on Ben Hope on 19 Oct 08 but didn’t know what it was.Thanks for the great programmes.